09 October 2012

October 9th

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989) directed by Anthony Hickox
A fun Western/vampire movie.  In it, the world's vampires decide to all move into a small desert town where they vow to drink artificial blood.  But, not all of the town's bloodsuckers are happy with never being able to sink their teeth into tender, human flesh again...

My mind wandered a bit during the movie and I started to wonder about the diet of vampires.  So, these creatures can only survive on human blood.  I think it's generally thought that they drink the blood of one person per night (I could be wrong here).  A person has about 5 liters of blood in them and each 500 mL has about 450 calories, so vampires are consuming 4500 calories per night.  That seems reasonable: it's more calories than a human needs to eat per day, with all that extra energy going towards their super-strength, speed, healing factor, bat-changing ability, etc.

But, they're killing a person per day!  That's a horrific murder rate for any city in the country.  My town is about 100,000 people and has about 1 murder per year.  A single vampire moving here would skyrocket that rate to 366 per 100,000.  The murder capital of the US is New Orleans, with a murder rate of 49 per 100,000.  Just one vampire would make my city 7.5 times more dangerous than the most dangerous city in the country.  People would be going bonkers trying to find this guy.  No vampire would be safe anywhere with this kind of bump in violent crime.  Yeah, sure, some of his victims wouldn't be found and would be counted as disappearances, but 365 people disappearing per year wouldn't go unnoticed or un-panicked either.

And that's just one vampire.  A clan, like in Near Dark, would be eating 35 people per week.  It would take them a mere two and half years to fully consume the small town I was raised in.  A nearby largish cemetery recently said they have room for 17,000 more bodies and they expect that to last 200 to 300 years.  With the five vampires from Near Dark moving to town, that plot space would be eaten up in just over 9 years.  There simply couldn't be very many vampires in the world without them starting some kind of large-scale human farming operations.  Hmm.  How about a film about a vampire farmer?

But, anyway, this a fun film.

Watched: DVD from Lionsgate.

Tales from the Darkside 1.11: "All a Clone by the Telephone" (1985) directed by Frank De Palma
Ah, ubiquitous '80s comedian Harry Anderson.  Where did you go?  Back in 1985, he found himself the owner of a sentient answering machine that liked to call people using his voice.  The answering machine claimed to be him from a parallel universe, but it really just seemed to be a possessed electronic device to me.  At any rate, it makes his life miserable until the machine offers something he can't refuse.  A decent episode, but still not dark.


  1. Hehe, that's awesome, I never thought to look at the actual caloric content of blood and run the numbers. I always assumed that real vampires (heh) would get a large proportion of their calories from normal food (perhaps they'd be big fans of really rare steak), and also mix things up with animal blood (I always assumed vampires would own slaughterhouses and, uh, dispose of the blood themselves). I would assume that blood, while necessary, wouldn't be mutually exclusive with other sources of calories. Plus, older vampire tales sometimes had the vampire leaving their victims alive (for a period, at least). So they could feed every night, but not murder. That might still be conspicuous though.

  2. Hmm... waking up with mysterious red marks on your skin. Bedbugs are a lie! It's really the return of vampires people are warning us of! Probably a conspiracy between the Exterminators Union and the Red Cross trying to protect their businesses.